03/01/2011 2:51PM

Top barns key to Santa Anita carryover


ARCADIA, Calif. – For just the fifth time at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, there is a pick six carryover, of $126,305, on Thursday.

Getting through the pick six will include sorting through the chances of leading trainers such as Bob Baffert, Jerry Hollendorfer, Mike Mitchell, Doug O’Neill, and John Sadler, who through Sunday occupied five of the top six places in the standings.

PICK SIX: Brad Free's video preview and selections for the sequence

The pick six covers the third through eighth races on a program that begins at 1 p.m. With no racing since Sunday and a healthy-sized carryover, the additional money bet into the pick six could exceed $1 million.

Mitchell, currently fourth in the standings, has two leading chances in the first leg, a $55,000 to $62,500 claimer over 1 1/8 miles on turf, in Achak and Where’s the Remote. Achak was second in a $40,000 claimer on Dec. 30 and won a race at this level and distance at Hollywood Park in November. Where’s the Remote, second in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Hollywood Park in October, makes his first start for a claiming price on Thursday.

In the fourth race, a six-furlong maiden race for older horses, Baffert starts Ranchero, who will be a key selection on many tickets. Ranchero was second in his debut in a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs on Feb. 4 and will be ridden by leading rider Rafael Bejarano.

“The pressure will be on Bejarano,” Baffert said.

Hollendorfer starts He’s So Stylish, who was second in a maiden race for statebreds on Feb. 13, his final start for trainer Bruce Headley. Hollendorfer bought He’s So Stylish privately following that race.

“We’re looking for horses that might have a chance to win or can improve a little bit,” Hollendorfer said.

The fifth race is a $25,000 claimer over a mile on turf that drew 12 fillies and mares, but will have a safety limit of 11 starters. The temporary rails will be set 15 feet from the inside of the course, which slightly reduces the number of starters.

The race lacks a clear favorite, though the Hollendorfer-trained Beautiful American will set the pace. Rollerskates, claimed for $20,000 on Feb. 25, makes a quick turnaround for trainer Jeff Mullins. Hameildaeme takes a significant drop in class.

The shortest pick six race of the day is the sixth, a $25,000 claimer over 5 1/2 furlongs. American Wildcat, who has won twice at Golden Gate Fields this year, and Ominous Thomas, who was fifth in an optional claimer at Hollywood Park on Dec. 16, will attract ample support.

Trainer Peter Miller said Basic Strategy could be a factor in his debut on a sand-and-clay track. “At a price, I think he’ll run real well,” Miller said.

Hollendorfer expects Dahoud to run well in the seventh, but was not enthused about drawing the outside of 10 in an allowance race over a mile on turf. Sadler starts Hollemans, a recent arrival from Calder, while O’Neill runs Hughesy, who ran well against similar on turf last summer at Del Mar.

Hughesy was fifth on the main track on Feb. 20, a race O’Neill dismisses. “It was such a non-effort, I think he’ll be fine,” he said.

O’Neill has two chances to win the last, a maiden claimer over six furlongs, with the recent claim Titian and Shelter Cove, who is dropping in class from maiden special weight races and returning from a two-month break.

“We gave him a little time off,” O’Neill said of Shelter Cover. “Hopefully, the freshening and the drop will do it.”